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Poker Strategy Tips: Starting Hands in Hi/Lo Split Games

There is a major difference in hands you should play if you play in a hi/lo split game as opposed to a standard high-only game, like Hold’em. The statements made in this tip are specifically for Hi/Lo split games and do not necessarily apply to other games. You can get some training in playing the game this way at PokerQQ which is an excellent platform to start your gaming journey.

The important thing to remember is that in split pot games like Omaha 8 or Stud Eight or Better, your objective is to scoop pots. You need to play hands that give you the opportunity to lock one half and freeroll for the other half or hands that have strong potential to scoop the pot. What this means in a very general sense, but not concrete, is that low cards are actually better than high cards. Aces are substantially more valuable in hi/lo games than in high only. The other wheel cards (2, 3, 4, and 5) are good cards. High cards like T, J, Q, and K go down in value. They are OK at times, but can be dangerous. For the most part, the middle cards like 6, 7, 8, and 9 are junk.

Let’s look at some examples of good starting Omaha 8 hands. AA23 (double suited) is about the best you ask for. Premium hands include hands like AA24, AAK2, A234, or AK23. Strong hands like A345, A245, AAJT, AKT3, or KK23 are certainly worth playing. The key things to remember are that you are trying to scoop, you want all your cards to work together, you want the nuts or as close to it as possible, and the river card frequently determines the winners. Therefore you need to be choosing hands with lots of possibilities for nut hands. 6789 is appealing because all the cards work together and offer you lots of straight possibilities, but in a hi-lo game you are likely to lose in both directions because you have little potential for a nut hand. Even when you do have a winner, you won’t be confident enough to play it well. As a basic rule of thumb avoid any hand with middle cards in it.

Here are some examples for Eight or Better. In this game, the nuts aren’t important. Even premium starters aren’t that critical. The key to choosing starting hands is to play when you feel you are in an advantageous situation compared to the other players. This is frequently determined by the information you gather from the other player’s up cards. If you hold a pair, you will generally want to throw it away unless you feel it is likely the best pair out. For example, if you are dealt 3JJ, and there is a king and a queen up for the next two players to act, throw the hand away. Pairs are weak in a high low-split game anyway. Remember, you want to scoop the pot. 3JJ doesn’t offer much potential for that. On the other hand, if your jack is the highest up card, the hand is worth playing.

This is even more true if the jacks are in the hole (both down) because your hand is also disguised. Again, you are typically looking for low cards. Three unpaired cards eight or lower are almost required to play, unless you have a great high hand like AA4 (which can still go both ways) or trips. Straight and flush draws are very sketchy in hi/lo split games unless they also include low draws (like 678 suited). Obviously the lower your three cards are the better, because they can beat other lows, but really they just need to be better than other players, even if they aren’t that great. Three wheel cards (A24, 234, etc) should virtually always be played. A hand like 358 is OK depending on how many other low cards are visible and being played. Thus, if there are lots of low cards out and/or people with low cards showing have bet or called before you, you probably want to wait for a better opportunity. However, with the same hand against all high cards, you are in great shape!

There’s a lot more that can be said on this topic. Hopefully I can address more in the future.

The Wild Bill Hickok Method of Poker Playing: Cheat to Win and Never Pay Out When You Lose

Wild Bill Hickok. The very name conjures up images of dusty trails and pearl-handled revolvers and long blond locks and card games and why a cheater should never sit with his back to the door. Often confused with that other famous Bill, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok was a lawman and a gambler and a rambler and I guess he always will be. Hickok had all the attributes required for a Wild West legend and then some some. Unlike Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok had courage to go along with his good looks and skill with a gun. (In fact, Earp didn’t even possess that, really; Wyatt Earp’s only real talent with a revolver lay in sneaking up behind his victims and cowardly cold-cocking them.) By contrast, Wild Bill’s long yellow locks, penetrating eyes and heroism as an Army scout are not dependent upon highly fictional Hollywood recreations of factual events in the way that pitiful Wyatt Earp was.

Wild Bill also holds a place in gambling legend; when you bet on a poker hand made up of two Aces and two Eights, what you’ve got there pardner is what is known as the Dead Man’s Hand. Why? Because that is final deck that Wild Bill ever played; the hand he was holding when a young man named Jack McCall sauntered into the saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota where Wild Bill sat playing cards. Wild Bill Hickok normally made a habit verging on obsession of never sitting anywhere where his vision couldn’t take in a panoramic view of everything in sight. There was a good reason for that and a bad result the one time he lapsed. Jack McCall calmly walked up behind Wild Bill and shot him point blank in the back of the head not terribly long after America had celebrated her first 100 years of existence. Such was Wild Bill’s ferocious reputation that McCall’s explanation for his Earp-level cowardice was confined to these immortal words: “I didn’t want to commit suicide.” Even aged and slowed down by alcohol, one didn’t willingly do anything that might cause one to come to face to face with the barrel of Wild Bill Hickok’s pistol. One might well assume that Wild Bill Hickok was a legendary gambler because he really knew how to play cards, right? He also knows how to effectively master playing dominoqq. These games are considered to be one of the best online.

Once again the facts serve to sneak up behind history and shoot it at point blank. In fact, Wild Bill was not even close to be a master of the art of poker. Even though Wild Bill supported himself as a gambler in between marshalling gigs, his success was far more dependent on cheating than on any intrinsic ability such as being able to bluff or knowing the laws of statistical probability. In fact, Wild Bill Hickok almost never walked away from a poker game with his winnings intact unless he had managed to somehow cheat. But there was something else that contributed to Wild Bill’s amazing ability to make a living as a gambler with poor skills. The number of men with the intestinal fortitude to face down Wild Bill when he refused to pay up after losing was shockingly low. Wild Bill survived as a gambler not just by cheating, but by not having to shell out when he did lose.

Wild Bill must have been some sight to play a game with. Easily ticked off and given to an almost manic need to throw himself body and soul into a poker game, legends about Wild Bill poker playing became almost mythic as time passed. Perhaps the most iconic story about Wild Bill Hickok’s unique approach making a living a gambler took place one night when he was playing in Iowa. At the time, Bill was a scout in the army and poker was the method of choice for making time pass. Hickok started losing and losing big and his notorious temper finally drove a stake into his heart; his blood pumping along with adrenaline, Wild Bill began to raise the stakes on one particular hand. The money was enormous and it was a cinch that whoever won the hand would walk away, content to stay temporarily liquid. Bill’s primary opponent in the game showed three jacks, to which Wild Bill countered with a full house constructed of Aces over Sixes and threw the cards triumphantly down onto the poker table. There was only one problem: Wild Bill Hickok had said he had a full house, but the cards on the table revealed that Bill had actually held only two Aces, not three. Even worse, he’d been holding only one six and not two. what Bill was really holding, McDonald erupted in a fit of anger, telling Wild Bill that he only saw two aces and one six. When his poker opponent dared to suggest that Wild Bill had perhaps been somewhat less than totally forthcoming, Wild Bill reached for his revolver with one hand and a great big shiny knife with his other and said, “Here’s my other six, and here’s my one-spot!”

The method by which Wild Bill Hickok’s Iowa poker victim reacted was in the form of four words that the long-haired lover of Calamity Jane must have heard countless times during his life. “Take the pot, Bill.”